by Doug Stringer
Recently, I published an article titled Before The Lights Go Out and the Presence of God Departs the Nation (published by Charisma as “Is the Glory of God Departing from US?”), which paralleled our current cultural climate with the time in Israel’s history described in 1 Samuel 4. During this period in Israel, the lamp of God went out, the ark of the covenant was lost, and the presence of God departed the land. The priesthood of the nation, under Eli and his sons Hophni and Phineas, was corrupt and morally weak and soon came under God’s judgment. The future appeared dismal.
The spiritual and cultural outlook in our own nation appears much the same today. Our nation’s leaders are either corrupt or standing idly by while others lead us down a morally compromised path. Our religious institutions have allowed their light to dim; our churches are without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We have scarcely noticed that God’s presence is departing the land.
I cannot express the gravity of our current state strongly enough. There is a warning sounding within my spirit to prepare for the days ahead. But as I wrote in my previous article, even as God prepared to bring judgment to the house of Eli, He was putting into place His redemptive plan. And I believe that same redemptive plan is at work today.
God always has a thread of redemption. Even when He is in the middle of correcting His people, He has a plan of redemption and restoration. We see this in 1 Samuel 1-4, as well as in Jeremiah 33.
Most of us are familiar with Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you did not know.” What some may not know is that this was spoken during a time of judgment on the nation of Israel. Israel and Judah had broken ties with the Lord and had been taken into captivity as punishment for their sins. And yet in the midst of judgment upon the nation, God had something “great and mighty” to tell Jeremiah—the reconfirming of His covenant and the restoration of a nation.
The rest of Jeremiah 33 shares God’s intentions toward this wayward nation if they would return to Him. His promises included health, healing, an abundance of peace and truth, restoration of their fortunes, cleansing from their iniquity, joy and gladness, fame throughout the nations, and safety from their enemies. All of this was promised if only they would return to the Lord and reconfirm their covenant with Him!
A Redemptive Thread
I remember when my mother became a naturalized citizen, she was given a little flag that had the pledge of allegiance. For years, she kept it on the TV and no one was allowed to touch it! She loved this country, as do I. That’s why I grieve for the tragic and dangerous state our culture is in. But at the same time, I still have hope in God’s redemptive power.
We have been the beneficiaries of the blessings of God in the United States of America. Our nation was founded on godly principles, with a strong Judeo-Christian ethic, and as a result we have known God’s blessings. Even those who are not Christians have become beneficiaries of these blessings. And God’s intention for us, just as with Abraham’s promise, was that we would in turn be a blessing to other nations.
Throughout our history, we have been a blessing to other nations. And it is my belief that from a benevolent standpoint, the Church in America has made America great. No matter what difficulties we have gone through, we have always been a generous people. We give to those who are suffering from disasters or hard times, both in our own country and in other nations. Somebody Cares has seen this benevolence firsthand as we’ve carried the prayers and offerings of thousands in America to those in need around the world—to Haiti, Japan, Indonesia, or wherever the need was great.
I believe this generosity allows us to hold onto God’s redemptive thread as a nation. By caring for those in need, the Church has given the nation access to God’s promise in Isaiah 58:8, that in our time of need for healing, our “recovery would speedily spring forth.”
A Samuel Generation
Samuel was instrumental to the reconfirming of God’s covenant with Israel following Hophni and Phineas’ destructive leadership tenure. Samuel represented a new generation—a righteous priesthood to replace that which was profaned. He was an uncompromised, prophetic voice of courage used by God to call the people back to His ways.
I believe in our own nation, God is going to raise up a new, prophetic voice of courage, one that will call our nation back to God. This Samuel generation will challenge the unjust judiciaries and corrupt politicians. They will refill the lamp of God with the oil of the Spirit and restore His light within the Church.
Our restoration as a nation, however, requires that we take an honest look at our true state. We cannot continue on as we have been and expect different results. To remain on the same path will only mean a further moral decline.
God used Samuel to show Israel their true state. His predecessor, Eli, had lost his eyesight. Eli had allowed the evil his sons were committing to continue. He maintained the status quo. As a result, the Lord had to raise up Samuel to expose the true state of Israel’s leadership.
I believe God wants to empower a generation in our land who will serve this same purpose. They are unwilling to allow the evil that is being committed to continue unchecked. They are not interested in maintaining the status quo. Their concern is for the true state of the Church and of the nation, and they will be courageous in speaking forth God’s truth.
Who Will Save America
My question to you is, “Will you be a Samuel in your generation?” Will you be one whose life is dedicated and set apart to the Lord? Will you be one who listens to hear the voice of God and who answers in obedience? Will you be a voice of courage to a wayward generation?
I recently had a dream in which I awoke with the following words echoing in my spirit, over and over. “Save America! Save America! Save America!” Who will save America? Who will answer the cry?
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only hope for our wayward nation. He alone is Savior and it is only by His blood that our redemption and restoration comes. But God is looking for a generation to partner with Him in his restorative work. He is looking for a people who will be part of his redemptive work to save America.
The Lord is looking for Samuels in this generation. Our nation needs their voice, now more than ever.